UN Day of the Seafarer highlights sacrifice at sea during pandemic

UN Day of the Seafarer highlights sacrifice at sea during pandemic
International Maritime Organization
The UN is calling on governments to recognise seafarers as key workers so that they can access support

The United Nations’ annual Day of the Seafarer campaign is calling on the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) member states to recognise seafarers as key workers, highlighting the sacrifices and challenges they have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Just like other key workers, seafarers are on the front line in this global fight,” said Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the IMO. “They deserve our thanks. But they also need – and deserve – quick and decisive humanitarian action from governments everywhere, not just during the pandemic, but at all times.”

Travel restrictions have left hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded, according to the IMO, spending months beyond the maximum time at sea stipulated in international conventions. Designating them as key workers would allow them to make use of the support, assistance and travel options that have been open to other key workers during the pandemic. 

“Without seafarers, the world’s economy could not function,” said António Guterres, general-secretary of the UN. “On this day, let us all salute seafarers everywhere for their work and do everything possible to support them as we navigate the challenges of this pandemic together.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
25 June 2020

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